APS files lawsuit to get back deeds for school properties


[Correction – Title corrected – the suit is not specifically against the City, although they are the only logical respondent that could lay a claim for the deeds.]

Creative Loafing reports,

The Atlanta Board of Education has filed a lawsuit to claim the deeds for four former APS schools that have remained vacant for years. According to the legal filing, the city’s education board wants a judge to help APS obtain the titles for George Adair School in Adair Park, Arkwright Elementary School in Venetian Hills, Milton Avenue Elementary in Chosewood Park, and Rosalie Wright Elementary School in Florida Heights. With no resolution in sight following an ongoing disagreement with the city, APS wants a judge to “clear the cloud” from the titles, giving system officials full control of the future of those properties. 

According to the March 26 filing, which seeks to “establish title against all the world,” the city should have transferred over all contracts, orders, leases, and bonds to the Atlanta Board of Education as part of the city’s charter adopted in 1973. That shift in responsibility also should have included the ownership of all properties the city had acquired to provide a public education to Atlanta children when it oversaw the school system. Since that time, the lawsuit says, the city’s education board has paid millions in costs associated with the upkeep of those four vacant schools.

The properties noted above have remained vacant for years and APS designated the properties as “surplus” and put them up for sale. A number of offers have been received, but without the deeds the sales cannot go through. APS requested the deeds in February – which in the past have been routinely provided by the City – but Mayor Reed refused to turn them over and indicated that the deeds were part of the Beltline negotiations.

Creative Loafing attached a copy of the lawsuit to its report and it can be seen here.

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2 Responses to APS files lawsuit to get back deeds for school properties

  1. kwsumlin says:

    Thanks for this. I have often wondered why APS did not file a lawsuit re: properties. What about a lawsuit re: monies owed @ Beltline?

    ~ Kim

    • I find it interesting that the legal filing was done on March 26, but it did not come out until this morning. Why didn’t APS announce it – or at least leak it to the press when they filed? As to the BeltLine – my sense is that there are a number of Board members who want to take some form of legal action, but it is not yet a majority. Not sure what is holding them back as it also appears that the consensus is that they will not get any funds from the Beltline in FY16 either.

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